Stone Cold Steve Austin's wrestling career was almost cut short after he suffered a neck injury. But in 1999, he underwent successful neck surgery and made a triumphant return to the ring.
During a recent episode of his podcast Something To Wrestle, Bruce Prichard opened up about Austin's return from his neck injury.
“Stone Cold” Steve Austin’s neck injury coming back:
Dude, man, it was a bad time. It was — unfortunately, during this period it felt like if it weren’t for back luck, Steve would have no luck at all. And he was going through and trying to work through a lot of the pain and the symptoms thinking that, ‘Okay man, if I work through it’ — and Steve’s one of those guys that is not always going to tell you everything that’s going on with him.
But when he started getting the tingling, and Steve started to have the symptoms more frequently than not, it worried him. And it worried us. Because you could tell. You could tell that there was just something off a little bit in the way that Steve was working. Whether he was a little bit more careful in the ring, and the way that he moved in the ring. So for Steve to step up and say ‘Hey,’ raise his hand and say something in the first place, you know it’s gotta be hurting him really bad.
And Steve’s a proud guy He just doesn’t — he don’t want to let himself down, he doesn’t want to let other people down. So yeah, this was a s**tty time. Because we’re looking at it, going, ‘We can’t make plans with him until we know exactly what the situation is.’ And there were just still at this point, so many questions that were left unanswered.
Concern for Austin’s health:
At the same time, we’re looking at the long term, and the health of him overall. Because if he’s not healthy or something happens to him that he’s paralyzed, that’s not good for anybody, obviously. So you’re wanting to say, ‘Let’s get you healthy for the long run. We can deal with the short run here. Business is good, we can f**king deal with it. We can make some adjustments, and change as we go along.’ But the priority was his health, and saying, ‘Okay, get you better and let’s figure out what’s going on here.
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